10 Saddest Deaths In Horror Movie History

These deaths impacted us the most.

Nightmare On Elm Street 3 ending
New Line Cinema

When it comes to horror films, death - especially in the splatter-fest that is the slasher genre - is an intrinsic part of the experience and something viewers expect to see whenever sitting down to see what tasty offering the genre has in store this time round.

With all the over-the-top, arterial-severing deaths that have totted up an ever-growing body count of casualties on the big screen, confronting our own mortality and squishy fleshy parts is typically what's celebrated most by horror fans. We love watching Jason hacking his way through hordes of frisky teenagers and gawk in awe at the elaborate death traps that have carried the Saw franchise for what's soon to be 9 instalments. These moments never fail to delight us.

Alongside all of the countless miscellaneous meat-bags we can't wait to see meet their end, there are, however, some deaths that hit us where it hurts instead. Whether it's for a narrative gut punch or a beloved character meeting an unceremonious and undeserved end, there are plenty of horror movie deaths that have left their mark, leaving us in tears in the process.

Beware massive spoilers ahead for the following.

10. Charlie Graham - Hereditary

Nightmare On Elm Street 3 ending
A24

With Hereditary, director Ari Aster cemented himself as a master of horror, creating an intimate portrait of one family's grief that crawled under the skin of audiences and critics everywhere.

Following the death of the family's manipulative grandmother, mother Annie (Toni Collette) is thrown into a spiral of grief. However, things only get worse when their daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro) meets her untimely end in an unexpected car accident.

Whilst at a party with her older brother Peter (Alex Wolff), who abandons her to spend time with a girl, Charlie, who has a severe nut allergy, helps herself to some cake which is loaded with an unseemly amount of peanuts. With Charlie going into anaphylactic shock, Peter rushes her to the hospital. But when she sticks her head out of the window for air the moment Peter swerves to avoid roadkill, she's decapitated by a telephone pole.

With the trailers implying Charlie would be a central character in Aster's debut film, nobody saw this shocking death coming. With minutes of extended silence, Aster let's the impact of the scene set in. It's not until Collette's gut-wrenching cries do we feel the full severity of the loss that's felt.

Contributor
Contributor

Glasgow-based cinephile who earned a Master's degree in film studies to spend their time writing about cinema, video games, and horror.